1. the human urinary system
   The pun is only used in the case of malfunction, to avoid mentioning a taboo condition:
    ... busily at work cauterizing his waterworks... (Sharpe, 1979)
   2. tears
   Especially those of a woman or child thought to be producing them to obtain sympathy:
    It's impossible to reason with Ma; she just turns on the waterworks. (Seth, 1993)

How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms. . 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • waterworks — [wôt′ərwʉrks΄] pl.n. 1. [often with sing. v.] a) a system of reservoirs, pumps, pipes, etc., used to bring a water supply to a town or city b) a pumping station in such a system, with its machinery, filters, etc. 2. Slang tears: usually in turn… …   English World dictionary

  • waterworks — ► PLURAL NOUN 1) (treated as sing. ) an establishment for managing a water supply. 2) informal the shedding of tears. 3) Brit. euphemistic, humorous the urinary system …   English terms dictionary

  • WaterWorks — Infobox Water park name = WaterWorks caption = location = Doswell location2 = Doswell location3 = United States flagicon|USA coordinates = address = phone numbers = homepage = owner = general manager = opening date = closing date = previous names …   Wikipedia

  • waterworks — UK [ˈwɔːtə(r)ˌwɜː(r)ks] / US [ˈwɔtərˌwɜrks] noun [countable] Word forms waterworks : singular waterworks plural waterworks 1) a system for storing and cleaning water and supplying it to a community 2) humorous the system of tubes in a person s… …   English dictionary

  • waterworks — /waw teuhr werrks , wot euhr /, n., pl. waterworks. 1. (used with a sing. or pl. v.) a complete system of reservoirs, pipelines, conduits, etc., by which water is collected, purified, stored, and pumped to urban users. 2. (used with a sing. v.) a …   Universalium

  • waterworks — n. a municipal waterworks * * * [ wɔːtəwɜːks] a municipal waterworks …   Combinatory dictionary

  • waterworks — wa|ter|works [ˈwo:təwə:ks US ˈwo:tərwə:rks, ˈwa: ] n [plural] 1.) the system of pipes and water supplies in a town or city 2.) a building from which water is cleaned and pumped to houses, buildings etc 3.) turn on the waterworks informal to start …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • waterworks — [[t]wɔ͟ːtə(r)wɜː(r)ks[/t]] N COUNT (waterworks is both the singular and the plural form.) A waterworks is a building where a supply of water is stored and cleaned before being distributed to the public …   English dictionary

  • waterworks — wa|ter|works [ wɔtər,wɜrks ] (plural wa|ter|works) noun count a system for storing and cleaning water and supplying it to a community a. HUMOROUS the system in a person s body through which URINE (=waste liquid) passes turn on the waterworks to… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • waterworks — noun (plural) 1 the system of pipes and artificial lakes used to clean and store water before it is supplied to a town 2 turn on the waterworks spoken to start crying in order to get someone s sympathy 3 informal or humorous the system of organs… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

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